Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is quite common with as many as 1 out every 4 women experiencing it. However it is important to identify the reasons behind such an occurrence. Quite often the reason for bleeding during pregnancy is the breakage of the one of the numerous tiny blood vessels that is formed for the growth of placenta. Women experiencing bleeding should not take it lightly and inform their doctor about such an event. However around 90% of cases that experience bleeding successfully complete the term and healthy children are delivered.
The safety of pregnancy and seriousness of bleeding during pregnancy can be determined from the extent of pain that is felt during the bleeding. A small proportion of bleeding that is painless is not serious. If the bleeding is heavy and accompanied with backache and cramps then the doctor should be immediately notified. Slight painless bleeding in the early period is not a cause for worry where the blood is pinkish or red and does not contain any fragments of tissue.
It is however advisable for women to bring to the notice of their doctors any bleeding in pregnancy. The doctor would want to examine the cause for the bleeding and some tests including an ultrasound, a pelvic examination and a blood test would be conducted to determine the level of the hCG hormone. Some women tend to experience bleeding at some points of time throughout their pregnancy term and the reason for this is not entirely known.
Bleeding in the initial days is observed when the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterine wall. This occurs around 2 to 4 weeks after the conception. Sometimes bleeding in pregnancy occurs one or two months into the pregnancy period. This light bleeding occurs when the placenta which is developing produces hormones that suppress the period. These hormone levels are not high enough to completely suppress the periods and so slight bleeding can be seen. Intercourse can result in slight spotting or bleeding. However the doctor should check to ensure that no infection is suspected.
Bleeding during pregnancy between the 12th and the 24th week is less common. Any bleeding after the 24th week should be taken seriously and immediate medical help should be sought. In some cases the placenta that is low lying may partially or fully cover the cervix and this may result in some amount of bleeding. Placenta accreta is a rare condition where the placenta grows within the deeper layer of the uterus and attaches itself firmly.
Placenta abruption is another situation where bleeding in pregnancy occurs. In this condition the placenta separates from the uterus and the bleeding can be painful. The bleeding in this condition can be heavy and may also be accompanied by clots. Uterine rupture can also result in bleeding during pregnancy. In this situation a sharp pain is felt along with a feeling of something tearing within the body and this is followed by vaginal bleeding. Immediate c-section is needed in this case.